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East Lynne Theater Company Presents ALICE IN THE EDGE 6/17-7/25

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"You have a most annoying habit of talking to me when people are present. Sometimes it is all I can do to keep my poise and appear not to be listening to you."
This is said by Harriet, to her "other self," Hettie. Together, they are one person and Harriet is actually talking to herself. The audience of course gets to see this "conversation" between these two and when Margaret, with her "other self" Maggie, pays a visit, the real fun begins. Margaret and Harriet maintain propriety, while Hettie and Maggie voice raw emotions.

And this is just one of four plays that make up the deliciously witty evening, "Alice on The Edge," all written by cutting-edge playwright Alice Gerstenberg, produced by Cape May's own East Lynne Theater Company, recently voted one of the top two Equity professional theaters in the state in the Discover Jersey Arts' "People's Choice Awards."
The evening includes "Fourteen," where Mrs. Pringle, her daughter and butler frantically juggle plates inside in preparation for a dinner party, while a blizzard blows outside; "Illuminati in Drama Libre," similar in style to "Waiting for Godot," but written 35 years before Becket's Vladimir and Estragon walked the boards; "He Said and She Said" about a busybody who questions why the unmarried Diana spends so much time with her best friend - and her best friend's husband; and "Overtones," the most talked about play of the 1915 Broadway season, where, for the first time on stage, two characters talk to their alter egos.
Gerstenberg (1885-1972) was part of "The Little Theater Movement," which offered artists the opportunity to take risks without the concerns inherent in large commercial ventures. Several of these innovative productions were performed in larger venues. For example, "Overtones" was produced on Broadway, had a successful run in vaudeville, and was performed in London by Lily Langtry.
Gerstenberg's forty-some plays include "Alice in Wonderland," based on Lewis Carroll's "Alice in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass" that was produced on Broadway in 1915. ELTC's Summer Student Production in 2007 was a shortened version of Gerstenberg's "Alice in Wonderland."
"Alice on The Edge" can be seen from June 17 - July 25 at 8:30p.m., Wednesdays through Saturdays, where the company is in residence at The First Presbyterian Church, 500 Hughes St., Cape May. There will be no performance on Saturday July 4, but an added performance on Sunday July 5. An after-show opening night party, on June 17, is planned at The Washington Inn, 801 Washington St., where theater-lovers have the opportunity to meet the talented cast and director. On Friday, June 26, there will be an after-show Q&A with the cast, and on Friday, July 17 is an American Sign Language Interpreted performance.
The five cast members, SuzAnne Dawson, Shelley McPherson, Alison J. Murphy, Mark Edward Lang, and Gayle Stahlhuth and director Karen Case Cook are all ELTC favorites.
SuzAnne Dawson, who was in ELTC's "To the Ladies!" last season, has also performed in "A Little Night Music" at Buffalo Studio Arena, "Carnival" at The Alliance in Atlanta, "Rumors" at Paper Mill Playhouse here in NJ, and toured opposite Gavin MacLeod in "Last of the Red Hot Lovers." Shelley McPherson, who was in ELTC's "Why Marry?" performs regularly at Joe's Pub at The Public Theater in NYC, has been in many episodes of "Guiding Light," and the musical she co-wrote with The Breithaupt Brothers, "Seeing Stars," was jury-selected to be one of 12 "Next Link" musicals in the New York Musical Theatre Festival, receiving a full production this fall in NYC.
Mark Edward Lang and Alison J. Murphy have been performing with ELTC since "The Dictator" in 2001 and last season played the leads in "The Guardsman." Recently, Mark performed Off-Broadway in "Welcome Home Marian Anderson," and played seven roles in the Irish comedy "Stones in His Pockets" in Harrisburg, PA. Alison has also worked with American Stage Company and Shakespeare in the Garden, and performs in corporate training and events in the New York City area with Executive Development Concepts.
Gayle Stahlhuth, since becoming ELTC's Artistic Director in 1999, has produced 50 different productions, directing 25 of them, including 12 World Premieres and 7 New Jersey Premieres.
Director Karen Case Cook helmed ELTC's "The Guardsman" and "Helpful Hints" last year and recently directed "On the Verge" for The Phoenix Theatre Ensemble in NYC. She also performs with ELTC and can be seen again in the world premiere of ELTC's "The Ransom of Red Chief" later this summer.
Tickets are $28 general admission; $23 for seniors and those with disabilities and their
support companions; and $13 for full-time students. Children ages 12 and under are always
free. Season tickets are still available through June 30: 5 shows for only $90. Checks may be mailed to the office, 121 Fourth Ave., West Cape May, NJ 08204, or through the website, www.eastlynnetheater.org. For information and reservations, call 609-884-5898 or visit the website. New this season: to make a reservation using a credit card, call 866-280-9211.
The twentieth year of "Tales of the Victorians," the popular reading series, begins on Thursday, June 18 at 4:00p.m., at The Butterfly Tea Room, 109 Sunset Blvd. Tickets are only $10 and ages 12 and under are free.
The production of "Alice on The Edge" would not be possible without season sponsors Curran Investment Management, Aleathea's Restaurant, La Mer Beachfront Inn, and funding received through a grant from the New Jersey Department of State, Division of Travel and Tourism, as well as this show's sponsor, The Henry Sawyer Inn, and the generosity of many patrons.

Photo: Gayle Stahlhuth, Mark Edward Lang, Shelley McPherson, Alison J. Murphy, and
SuzAnne Dawson

 


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